Wednesday, February 21, 2007

John McGimpsey of Coal Valley, Ill.

Below is a bio of John McGimpsey, born 1864 in Ireland, son of Robert and Jane (McGimpsey) McGimpsey. He came with his family to the US in 1869 and settled in Illinois. I haven't found a connection with my McGimpsey ancestors, but it seems that he must somehow be related to my McGimpsey ancestor Henry James McGimpsey, born 1829 in Newtownards, Down, Ireland, who came to the US in 1854/1860 (it seems he returned to Ireland for some time). With his first wife Elizabeth Hamilton, Henry James McGimpsey had two children, William James Mcgimpsey, born 13 Jan 1863 in Rock Island, Illinois, and Margaret Jane McGimpsey, born 17 Sept 1864 in Coal Valley, Illinois.

McGIMPSEY, John.--Coal Valley township is one of the most prosperous of the divisions of Rock Island county, for not only is farming carried on to a large extent, but here are located the rich mines that give the section its name. Many of the residents combine farming and mining, while others restrict their operations to one or other of the two callings. One of the prosperous men of both village and township, is John McGimpsey, who belongs to the well-known family of that name. This family originated in Ireland, where Mr. McGimpsey was born October 2, 1864, a son of Robert and Jane (McGimpsey) McGimpsey, who came to America in 1869, locating in Coal Valley, and in 1870 went to Henry county, Ill. He still later moved to Moline, where both died and are buried in Homestead cemetery in Rural township.

John McGimpsey attended common school, and helped his father until his marriage, which occurred when he was twenty-two years old. He was then united with Annie M. Moss who was born September 16, 1869, and died May 6, 1905, buried in Coal Valley cemetery. Her mother is still living in Coal Valley. Seven children were born of this marriage : Robert W., who married Annie Heintz, and they have one son, Lawrence, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work ; John F., who married Ruby Kay ; James A., born April 18, 1892, married Anna Coon, one daughter, Phyllis ; Nellie May, who was born September 23, 1895 ; Marion N., who was born December 20, 1898 ; Hugh T., who was born August 12, 1903 ; and Theodore R., who was born November 2, 1904, died September 23, 1905.

Mr. McGimpsey is a republican, and for two years was supervisor of his township. For three years he was a school director, and was a very efficient and faithful officer. He belongs to the Fraternal Reserves. Interested in and owning a fine farm of eighty-eight acres, which he operated, he is a successful agriculturalist. In the prime of life, he has many years of activity before him, which he will doubtless devote to advancing not only his own interests, but those of the community which has been his home for so many years. The family is well known in the neighborhood, and its members have made a name for themselves as men who never go back on their word, or fail to give to each a square deal. He is not a member of any religious organization but attends the Presbyterian church.

Source: Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, editors, Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Rock Island County, (Chicago, Illinois, Munsell Publishing Company, 1914) p. 1288.


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